Read more on the latest developments from our research facility, as well as Australian and international news relating to the hydrogen economy.
We have observed a distinct shift in the public discourse around the renewable energy transition here in Australia with similar echoes from around the world. It can be summed up succinctly in the phrase “the rubber is hitting the road”, as the theory of orthodox renewable technologies runs into the reality of their roll-out.
For example, here in Australia, those who are responsible for managing our grid have warned that a massive amount of capital investment is required if renewable energy is to hit 2030 and 2050 net-zero targets. As developers peg out the ground and the oceans for transmission lines and turbines, everyone from farmers to bird lovers and surfers is pushing back. In North Queensland, the Australian Environment Minister is caught between the horns of a dilemma in having to approve a wind turbine project in the rainforest which is being fiercely opposed by environmentalists and local communities. Serious questions are being asked about not just the availability of critical minerals, but also common materials needed for the transition, such as copper.
All of this makes for a very receptive environment for breakthrough technologies like HERO®, especially if they get around grid-related issues. We’ve noticed a distinct difference in attitude in our talks with governments – we are now very much “pushing against an open door” here in Australia and especially in the U.S.
The transition can be done, but governments need to keep their minds open to the technologies that deliver it – and the good news is that it seems they will be.
The Sustainable Energy Council, the body behind the Global Hydrogen Summit at Rotterdam, is bringing its major Southern Hemisphere conference to Sydney over the 26th – 27th of October. The conference and exhibition will be combined with the annual Australian Hydrogen Council Conference.
It is expected the Conference will be attended by major Australian Ministers along with Energy Ministers and government representatives from across the region, Europe and the United States. The conference is also expected to attract major industry delegations from around the globe.
Star Scientific will be playing a major role at the event and looks forward to showcasing our technology to industry and government delegates alike.
Attendance at the exhibition half of the Conference is free. If you are interested in attending, please go to the Asia-Pacific Hydrogen 2023 Summit & Exhibition website.
Star Scientific recently attended an excellent workshop under the umbrella of “NewH2”, the industry body combining the efforts of industry, government, and academic players in the hydrogen industry in the Hunter Valley. The Hunter Valley is just north of the Central Coast region where Star Scientific is located and is anchored on the industrial port of Newcastle.
A long fossil fuel (mostly coal) supply chain reaches up the valley along the Hunter River, and companies and communities are coming together to plan the energy transition, with excellent input from our friends at the University of Newcastle.
Star Scientific was present at a workshop at the new ‘The Melt” innovation hub at the mining town of Muswellbrook. A joint venture of the University and government, the Melt allows local renewable energy entrepreneurs to access free engineering support services.
Elsewhere in the local area, abundant land is being set aside by major companies and the Council to develop “renewable energy parks”, which may include hydrogen facilities. Star Scientific will continue to take a key interest in these developments.
Every year we choose to “put back” into our local community by sponsoring the Central Coast Rotary Science Challenge, where local secondary schools compete over two days in a series of science-related tasks and problems.
The day culminates in the “bridge challenge” where aspiring engineers have to build a balsawood and tape bridge that has to endure a series of ever-increasing wheeled weights running over it. They eventually collapse, much to the joy of assembled kids, sponsors, teachers, and dignitaries.
We sincerely hope to one day see one or more of those young people in a Star Scientific lab coat!